Let’s talk phones. For a moment, let’s forget the latest and greatest gadget and look behind us at how we even got here!

History of phones

Source: Pixabay // Pixabay // Pixabay

For those of you who are fans of obscure holidays, today is Emma M. Nutt Day, a holiday celebrating the first female telephone operator in the United States. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to take a moment to reflect on how far communication has come in the past 140 years.

From operators to iPhones, things have come a long way. We are more connected than ever, and that is certainly something to celebrate!

Let’s start with a brief history of the telephone to give us a little perspective…

Via: CNET 1

Now that we have some history, I want to share with you something close to my heart.

Dr. Lynda’s son (my brother) started a project, Our Inner View, a year ago to document the interesting life stories of the people in our community. As a sophomore in high school, Jens was inspired by the work of StoryCorps to start recording interviews with the people who have influenced his life.

Last spring he talked with Maddie Howard, a woman who has been like a surrogate grandmother to us our entire lives. At 93, she is as spry as ever and has set the standard for “aging gracefully.”

As someone who has seen the evolution of communication come a long way, Jens sat down with Maddie to talk about how she has seen things change over the years. It turns out, she had a special connection with it all…

Do we celebrate our history enough?

Do we spend enough time really listening to stories from the past?

As phenomenal as the present is and as boundless as the future seems, we all of that start somewhere. Our triumphs our tribulations, they all have a history.

Perhaps my favorite part of that interview with Maddie is how excited she is about being able to instantaneously communicate with her iPad. As quickly as we communicate with loved ones today with texting and quick emails, it’s easy to forget how truly miraculous that is. For the vast majority of human history that was an impossibility, and now it is something we all do on a daily basis without even thinking, except to get angry if our messages aren’t sent or responded to quickly enough.

Go ahead, text, email, message somebody important to you. Heck, message three people, because we are wildly fortunate to have these technologies at our fingertips and we should appreciate them to the absolute fullest!

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!


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  1. “The History of the Telephone.” YouTube. CNET, 15 Feb. 2016. Web. 30 Aug. 2016. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3RbnsHTuVw>.
  2. “Maddie Master Ex.” SoundCloud. Jens Ulrich-Verderber, May 2016. Web. 30 Aug. 2016. <https://soundcloud.com/jens-ulrich-verderber/maddie-master-ex>.

Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

CEO of Ever Widening Circles, Founder of EWCed

Since 2015, Liesl has been a writer, editor, and is now the CEO at Ever Widening Circles. She is a life-long camera-toting traveler, a global story seeker, and an aspiring—but more often root-tripping—outdoor enthusiast. She can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV